statscan homebuyer poll

Statistics Canada really upset Canadians when it asked about buying a home

Statistics Canada's social media team had people across the country fuming — or maybe just laughing — when they created a Twitter poll about home buying in Canada on Friday.

The survey asked residents how old they were when they purchased their first house, giving the options of 24 or younger, 25 to 34, 35 to 45 and 46 or older.

The poll garnered 29,511 votes, but it was the nearly 1,000 written responses to the tweet that StatsCan presumably did not anticipate.

Many noted that the question failed to take non-home owners into account — a drastic oversight given how untenable the housing market is lately in many major Canadian cities, such as Toronto, where people are being encouraged to co-own houses in order to afford them amid dramatically rising prices and lessening supply.

"Can you change this to 'how old were you when you realized owning a home would never be an option?' or 'When did the constant fear of renoviction set in?'" one user aptly said.

"I will be 672 years old," another tweeted.

The salt in the millennial wound was the fact that the results of the poll indicated that 52 per cent of respondents — ostensibly people who bought their house decades ago — were 25 to 34 when they made their first home purchase, and 21 per cent were 24 or younger.

StatsCan rather unwisely followed the Twitter poll with results from its more extensive 2018 Canadian Housing Survey, which indicated that more than half of first-time homebuyers in Canada were younger than 35.

More "okay, boomer"-type responses ensued, with users citing student debt, inflation, and a "garbage" housing market among the main reasons that very few young people can afford to be home owners these days.

Though us young people may never be able to afford real estate in our lives, at least we'll  always have our dark sense of humour about our dire collective financial reality — and also about the fact that older people are bad at Twitter polls and the internet in general.

Lead photo by

Julia Nathanson

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